Coming on the heels of ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s announced greening of its steelmaking process in Hamilton is word that the company has introduced zero-emission hydrogen in its steel plant in Montreal. ArcelorMittal announced it has successfully tested the use of green hydrogen in the production of direct reduced iron (“DRI”) at its steel plant in Contrecoeur, Quebec. ArcelorMittal’s has stated its ambition to lead the decarbonization of the steel industry.
The objective of the test was to assess the ability to replace the use of natural gas with green hydrogen in the iron ore reduction process. During this first test, 6.8% of natural gas was replaced with green hydrogen during a 24-hour period, which contributed to a measurable reduction in CO2 emissions. The green hydrogen used in the test was produced by a third-party owned electrolyzer (device that produces green hydrogen from electricity and water) and was then transported to Contrecoeur. This is considered a major step forward since the iron ore reduction process alone contributes to more than 75% of ArcelorMittal Long Products Canada’s (“AMLPC”) overall CO2 emissions.
AMLPC is evaluating the possibility of carrying out further tests in the coming months by increasing the use of green hydrogen at the DRI plant, which could eventually reduce CO2 emissions in Contrecoeur by several hundred thousand tonnes per year. The potential use of electrolysers to produce green hydrogen in Contrecoeur will depend on certain criteria, particularly the availability of sufficient electricity to power the units.
In Hamilton the company announced its decarbonization plans through a combination of electric Arc Furnace technology and use of natural gas to replace the plan’s reliance on coal. Longer term, the Hamilton plant may be able to replace some of its natural has use with hydrogen.